Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bats, bags and seeing red...


I told my wife that 2013 was going to be the year of the beard.  She scoffed at the idea, citing the fact that thus far in my 30 years of life the extent of my facial hair growth has stopped at scraggly chin hairs.  We shall see...

Ok, I have a shit ton of pictures to put up, so words will be minimal.  First up, making a new bast system.  I never seem to have enough bats when making jars and such so I worked up this rig.  Now I will have a copious amount of cheap bats that will store easily and such.
Tools of the trade: 6.5 inch square cut out of one sheet of masonite, glued to a second sheet of masonite, 6.5 inch squares cut for bats.

Holes drilled for bat pins and notch cut for easy removal of bats.

Edges of bat trimmed down to fit inside splash pan.

New bat system on the wheel with bat in place.

In use.

Jar and lid successfully thrown on new bats and taking up very little space.

I think I may need to put a couple coats of shellac on everything to keep it from warping, but all in all I think it will work quite well.

Last week I went up to Krueger Pottery to grab some supplies I desperately needed to finish up some custom orders and such.  I got a bunch of glaze/slip materials, mostly in 50lb bags as they are much cheaper that way.  The only problem now is that I am not sure where I am going to store everything.  Oh well, small problems.

I also got a Talisman hand sieve to work up my slips and glazes.  I had been having a slight problem with clumps and bits of muck in some of the slips. 
The sieve works fine, but it is a bit smaller than I expected.  The description said it would fit on a "normal size" bucket, which I naturally assume means a 5 gallon bucket, but not so...falls right in.  I guess I will have to make an adapter ring so the sieve can sit on the buckets without having to muck about with it.

I also got a couple bags of plaster so I can finally finish up my reclaim bin.  Now I can recycle the many many pounds of slop clay that have been sitting around the studio.
It does, however, weight just slightly less than an elephant, so I will have to find a good, mostly permanent place for it in the studio.

Yesterday I loaded and fired a glaze load, which is currently cooling.  It is probably cool enough to take a peek now, but I am going to wait a little while yet.  Pictures of finished work next post.  For now here are some pictures pre-firing.
Bisque-ware pre-glazing.
Figures for surprise mugs.  Freaking great and much fun to make.
At ye olde pottery shop I also picked up a underglaze pencil to play around with.  I have tried underglaze sticks before with not very good results.  They were difficult to sharpen and almost impossible to get any detail with.  This new one, though, is cased in wood making it very easy to sharpen.  It also seems to be a bit harder than the last ones I tried, so it holds a tip longer and gets better detail.  My only complaint so far is that they smudge a bit, so I have to be pretty careful while working on pieces.  This, of course, is a pretty minor problem and should be an easy fix.
Underglaze pencil experiments.
I really enjoyed drawing on the pots and was very happy with how the illustrations came out.  We will see how they look after being glazed and fired.

And last but not least, a chance to Philbeck it up.
I got a bucket of terra cotta clay from who knows where and it has been sitting around for quite a while.  The other day I finally wedged it up and ended up with about 35 pounds or so of nice red clay.  Not enough to do much with, but plenty to play around with.


No comments:

Post a Comment